There's no confection that says "I love you" more than chocolate. And Valentine’s Day only comes once a year, so why not treat your loved one—or yourself!—to a box of luscious, gourmet local chocolates?
Here are some of the best shops in the area.
1405 1st Street, Sarasota, (941) 284-267, noelachocolate.com
Located in downtown Sarasota, this artisan chocolate shop has a little something for everyone, with flavors including salted caramel, espresso, strawberry and raspberry crème brûlée. Indulge in a 25- to 49-piece box of assorted chocolates or pick up one or two dozen chocolate-covered strawberries.
5170 Palmer Plaza Blvd, Sarasota, (941) 923-2462, banyantreechocolate.com
Why have a box of chocolate, when you can have a box made of chocolate? Owned by an internationally recognized chocolatier, Banyan Tree is crafting these edible boxes made from dark chocolate, with eight decadent truffles inside. Each one also includes a small hammer for breaking it open—fun! Non-chocolate boxes containing eight, 15 or 36 chocolatier-chosen truffles are also available. Don't wait, though: the last day to order for Valentine’s Day delivery is February 7.
192 N. Cattlemen Road, Unit 7, Sarasota, (941) 777-5507, normanloveconfections.com
While his shop is still new to Sarasota, crafting gourmet chocolates is nothing new for Norman Love, who's been in the chocolate biz since 2001. The shop’s 25 signature chocolate flavors include New York cheesecake, peanut butter marshmallow, cupcake and caramel macchiato. And in honor of Cupid’s big day, Love is adding an extra 10 flavors to the repertoire, including Tahitian vanilla, coffee latte and raspberry rose. Choose from a variety of gift box sizes and bundles, which include some extra chocolatey goodies. Be sure to place your order by 12 p.m. February 9 for Valentine’s Day delivery.
3449 Technology Drive, Ste 103, North Venice, (941) 227-2253, gabriellachocolates.com
Venice-based Gabriella Chocolates offers several gourmet truffle collections to choose from for the big V. Liquor dessert truffles, anyone? How about habanero and jalapeno dark chocolate, or Key lime margarita chocolates? Traditional Valentine’s Day gift boxes are also available.